Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

02 Dec 2011, 6:59 a.m.

Professional Education

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2011 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Yesterday I bought and read Jeremy Blachman's Anonymous Lawyer because I remembered liking the blog. Strange. I don't usually like wince humor, but the book went pretty fast and balanced out the narrator's ambition and arrogance with quiet subtext. I have recently been letting work swallow up my life, so it was nice to sit on the couch next to Leonard and read a book for a while, even if it was a book about someone who lets work swallow up his life.

Now reading Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It. I swing between utterly loving this book and needing to take a nap.

Many claims are made about how certain tools, technologies, and practices improve software development. But which are true, and which are merely wishful thinking? In Making Software, leading researchers and practitioners present chapter-length summaries of key empirical findings in software engineering...

One of the editors is Greg Wilson, the Software Carpentry dude who wants to teach scientists basic software engineering skills -- talk about doing the Lord's work! I heard about Software Carpentry via Mary Gardiner's "Changing the World with Python" talk (transcript).

Speaking of Python, I'll be in Boston the weekend of December 17th to attend a project-driven introduction to Python for women and their friends. There are still 7 slots left, in case you want to join me. I fear that I'm in that bleh spot, not an utter novice but still too unskilled to make Python do what I want, so here's hoping the weekend gets me over that hump.